Chunar Fort - History


Chunar Fort is also known as Chandrakanta Chunargarh and Charanadri which has got long history along with some legends. The fort is located on Kaimur Hills. History of the fort dates back to 56 BC when Raja Vikramaditya was the ruler of Ujjain. Then it went under Mughals, Suris, Nawabs of Awadh and finally into the hands of the British.

Chunar Fort under Mughals and Suris

In 1529, many soldiers of Babar were killed during a siege. Sher Shah Suri acquired the fort in 1532 by marrying the widow of a governor of Chunar named Taj Khan Sarang Khani. Taj Khan was the governor during the reign of Ibrahim Lodi. Sher Shah also received much wealth by marrying another widow.

He then shifted his capital to Rohtas in order capture Bengal. Humayun attacked the fort and asked Sher Shah Suri to leave Bengal. He also said that he will not acquire the fort of Chunar and Jaunpur. Humayun also asked for the treasure and proposed Sher Shah to come under the Mughal protection.

Humayun and Sher Suris Suri

When Humayun was on his way to Bengal, Sher Shah Suri again captured the fort. Islam Shah, son of Sher Shah Suri, succeeded him in 1545 and the fort was under him till 1553. Islam Shah was succeeded by his son Adil Shah who died in 1557 when the king of Bengal attacked the fort.

After the death of Adil Shah, the last ruler of Suri dynasty in 1557, Mughals captured the fort in 1575 during the reign of Akbar. Then Akbar rebuilt the fort which included a gate in the west and other structures. Iftikhar Khan was appointed as the nazim of the fort by Jahangir while Aurungzeb appointed Mirza Bairam Khan as governor. A mosque was constructed by Bairam Khan in the fort. In 1760, Ahmad Shah Durrani captured the fort.

Chunar Fort under British

Major Munro attacked the fort and captured it in 1768. The British used the fort for keeping artillery and other weapons. Maharaja Chet Singh acquired the fort for some time but evacuated it in 1781. In 1791, European and Indian battalions made the fort their headquarters. The fort was used as a house for prisoners from 1815 onwards. In 1849, Rani Jind Kaur, wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was imprisoned but she escaped and went to Kathmandu. After 1890, the fort was used as a jail for prisoners.